Harry and his parents were discussing Harry’s future. “You can stay with your grandparents for a year and study for the matriculation exams,” explained his father. “If you work hard, you can go to Prederhoffen or Zeitell. With an economics degree from either of those universities you could get a job with any trading company or corporation.” Harry’s mother made encouraging noises.
“I thought I’d do tertiary school here,” countered Harry. “All of the universities here in the capital have excellent economic schools and I could take science and literature strands too.”
“Harry,” his father was being firm, “we want you to get a proper degree from a school where you’ll be taught to think and not just parrot ‘the classics.’ That’s why you should go home to finish your education.”
“Dad, I don’t speak or read the language well enough to go to tertiary school over there. Remember what it was like when you and Mum were transferred back and I spent a term in school there? That was bad. This would be worse. At least I can understand the teachers here.”
His mother spoke up for the first time. “That’s another reason for you to go home to study. You’re more like a local than a trading company scion. You need to improve your language skills and form connections with people who’ll be useful to your career in the future.”
“Why can’t the people I’d meet here be the ones that are useful to my career?” Harry looked indignant.
“Because outside this country, no-one takes this country seriously,” snapped back his father, “except as a market. None of the major trading companies have their head offices here and not one major global corporation was founded here. To get a job with any of them you need a degree from somewhere else. If you matriculate back home you can apply for a company-funded scholarship and with one of those you won’t have to borrow money to pay for your tuition.”
“I’ve already got enough to pay full tuition for my first year if I go to one of the universities here,” protested Harry. “I realise that here tertiary school costs less than…” his voice trailed off at the expressions on his parents’ faces.
“Where,” his father asked, “did you get that sort of money?” His mother looked just as shocked.
“My referee’s honorariums,” Harry explained. “Even as a very junior assistant I get one and I’ve saved all of them in an interest bearing bank account. Well, when I say ‘saved all,’ I’ve paid tax of course. The accountant from the Illustrious Board of Referees said I wasn’t making enough to muck up your tax…” He looked between his parents. “How much trouble am I in?”
Both of Harry’s parents looked thoughtful. “So if you leave the country, you lose your income stream,” commented his mother. “That is an important point, now, isn’t it?”